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Gudie Hutchings says she and fellow MPs won’t be in Ottawa for Qalipu enrolment rally

Hutchings - Submitted

Those planning a rally against the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation Band enrolment process in Ottawa later this month probably should have chosen a different date if they wanted to get the attention of federal politicians.

The march on Parliament Hill is scheduled to take place Feb. 24, but the House of Commons is not sitting that week.

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Gudie Hutchings, the Liberal Commons member for Long Range Mountains, told The Western Star Thursday neither she nor any other MPs from Newfoundland and Labrador will be in the nation’s capital at the time.

The Long Range Mountains riding is where many who are part of, or who want to be members of, Qalipu live or hail from.

When asked about her thoughts on the protest, Hutchings reiterated what she has said before. She knows a lot of people don’t like it and are upset, but the enrolment process is a legally binding agreement between two parties that has to unfold as they have agreed it should.

“We have to finish this process and then sit down and see what can be done,” she said. “I personally would never have agreed to it, but the (band’s) previous council and the previous government did agree to this and there’s not much that can be done about it until this process has concluded.”

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